Awards impress despite funding crisis

Most Popular Soapie of the Year Skeem Saam cast and crew. Picture: Mpumelelo Buthelezi
Most Popular Soapie of the Year Skeem Saam cast and crew. Picture: Mpumelelo Buthelezi

When the emcee is really good, when the people have had nice food and washed down one or two glasses, the event goes smoothly for everyone – all the glitches are swept right under the carpet.

The Royalty Soapie Awards, which recognise major contributors to the local soap opera industry, were hosted by comedian Mpho Popps at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park on Wednesday night.

After a two-year break owing to funding issues and parting ways with Durban, awards founder Winnie Ntshaba truly made do with the little money she had.

The need for financial injection into the awards was a big topic during the night. When accepting their awards, winners would mention how they wished that they had come with a cheque.

“I was happy that the gentleman from Gauteng Tourism emphasised that we need corporate South Africa. I was watching the sports awards one time and I saw Itumeleng Khune getting so much money, and I was like, this is the type of boost our actors need.

"I know how much we struggle as actors, there are a lot of things happening with our actors. For me, this is a battle I will fight and win,” added Ntshaba.

Lifetime Achiever Award-winning veteran actor Don Mlangeni Nawa was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award

Despite that big issue and tiny budget, the red carpet and even the food was actually up to par.

Actress Lerato Mvelase walked the red carpet in a short, glittery gold dress. And there was no way anyone could miss the gorgeous Thembi Nyandeni, who won Outstanding Lead Actress for her role in Isibaya, dressed in a shapeless white dress.

I think when it comes to fashion, our celebrities rarely disappoint, but there are always those who really miss the memo.

One of the more confusing moments of the night was Popps announcing that there was only one statuette available on the night and that all winners had to return it so that other winners could have it during their acceptance speech.

Come on! One award for everyone? Someone really needs to pull up their socks. What a silly “technical” issue to have.

On the positive side, it was nice to see new faces winning for a change. Kope Makgae – Mrekza from Generations: The Legacy – won the outstanding newcomer award and Skeem Saam’s Lesego Marakalla walked away with Outstanding Female Villain for her role as Rachel Kunutu.

Leroy Gopal, who plays Fynn in Binnelanders, took the Outstanding Male Villain award.

This year Isibaya was not on the forefront like previous years, but managed to walk away with four awards (Outstanding Lighting Team, Outstanding Couple, Outstanding Soapie and Outstanding Lead Actress).

Don Mlangeni-Nawa took home the Lifetime Achievement Award.

And yes, your vote was heard, Skeem Saam was announced the Most Popular Soapie of the Year – as voted for by the public.

Outstanding Lead Actress Thembi Nyandeni at the red carpet of the Royal Soapie Awards 2018. Picture: Mpumelelo Buthelezi
Actress and singer Lerato Mvelase was also there

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